(ca,en)Colombia-Indonesia: visitas al maestro

Luis Prat (prat@chem.ucsb.edu)
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 14:50:35 -0700

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Colombia - Indonesia: Visiting the teacher.

During the mid 70's Colombia and Indonesia, located both on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, shared their condition as dependent on coffee and as owners of rich oil reserves whose existance was unknown to both countries.

Today Indonesia is the third most populous nation in the world and is the founder of the Non-Aligned Nations Movement - actually presided by Ernesto Samper Pizano - and whose army, the invador of East Timor, shares with its Colombian counterpart a long history of political sectarianism and violations of human rights.

Since December 22 1975, two weeks after the invasion, the UN and the European Community have issued five declarations recognizing the territorial integrity and the right to self-determination of East Timor; they have shown concern about human rights violations and have petitioned Indonesia to leave the lands that don't belong to it.

On the contrary, Indonesia has refined its repressive ways using everything from mass torture and brutal acts of public humiliation to forced sterilization of women, the establishment of concentration camps, cultural persecution and prohibition of the use of native language.

The UN talked about a proposed military embargo of the Suharto regime, but the USA and England vetoed the sanction.

The explanation for that veto came out months later, when a treaty was signed with Australia for oil exploitation in the Sea of Timor (ignoring East Timor's territorial rights) with the participation of companies from both powers.

Quite possibly only Indonesia has earned more international condemnations for human rights than Colombia, hence the ever tightening links between both countries.

Suharto's army gave military honors to President Samper during his trip around the Pacific and within two weeks the conservative candidate to the presidency Andres Pastrana will be making his own political contacts with Jakarta.

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